During the NFL draft process, all 32 NFL teams are allocated 30 pre-draft visits in which prospects can be brought in to the team’s facility to be evaluated. And while some players are brought in for medical re-checks, others are simply brought in to confirm what they already know or hear about from other coaches, players, etc.
— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) March 23, 2016
Since 49ers GM Trent Baalke took over general manager duties back in 2010, all but FS Eric Reid came in for a pre-draft visit of all first-round picks. In fact, National Scout Justin Chabot attended Reid’s pro day and Reid made a good enough impression that Reid did not have to come in for a pre-draft visit. (Breaking Down GM Trent Baalke’s first-round Draft Strategy)
Back in 2010, RT Anthony Davis came in for a pre-draft visit and on that visit had dinner with then head coach Mike Singletary. The very next season, OLB Aldon Smith had dinner with Baalke on his pre-draft visit while then head coach Jim Harbaugh attended his pro day (possibly to also scout QB Blaine Gabbert).
In 2012, WR. A.J. Jenkins came in for a pre-draft visit while Senior Personnel Assistant Ethan Waugh attended his Pro Day. That same season the team opted not to bring in second-round pick RB LaMichael James in for a pre-draft visit, as Harbaugh had a good grasp on James’ work ethic, character, and ability during his time at Stanford. In addition, they did meet with each other at the NFL Combine (formal 15 minute interview).
While the past is an indication of the future, it appears that the 49ers have already set the stage for their first wave of pre-draft visits as DE Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss), WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson), CB Mackensie Alexander (Clemson), and CB Eli Apple (Ohio St.) are all scheduled according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.
The interesting thing about all of these players, is that other than Treadwell, I don’t see a Top 10 prospect, leaving me to believe the team may be looking to trade down.
With pre-draft visits and private workouts continuing, we will keep you updated on the latest as it unfolds.